Bolshevik consolidation of power

Topics: Vladimir Lenin, Bolshevik, Russian Civil War Pages: 2 (953 words) Published: May 27, 2014
Bolshevik consolidation of power in the period from 1917 to 1921 (edited) Introduction: The Bolsheviks used two main methods to consolidate power between the years of 1917 and 1921. The first method was the introduction of social, economic and military reforms aimed at consolidating their support among the peasants and the working class. The second method was one of coercion to crush the opponents with their ruthless nature. Along with these methods, the Bolsheviks victory in the Civil War was the main contributing factor towards their success as they were better organised and better led than opponents. In addition, they had a compelling ideology and offered more to Russia’s peasants and workers than did their opponents. REFORMS OF 1917-1918:The Bolshevik’s attempted to implement the promised they had made to their supporters. Socially, women were given more rights and free education was extended to everyone. Economically, land was handed out to peasants, working conditions were improved and hours were shortened as well as improved wages. Militarily, peace was made with Germany (the treaty of Brest-Litrovsk of March 1918) which took Russia out of the war. The Bolshevik’s expected these policies would win them considerable support and legitimise their coup. This proved short sites as a wave of strikes and protests broke out once people realised Lenin and his party did not intend to share power with other political forces. OUTBREAK OF THE WAR: The Bolshevik’s were ruthless with their coercion and dealt with the protests by arresting the ringleaders and closing down opposition printing presses. They processed with the election for the Duma, believing they could successfully claim to represent majority of Russia by their winning votes but the result was a disaster. They only received 24% of the national vote. Lenin then reacted by delaying the opening of the assembly and then closing it down altogether. The Cadet party (represented Russia’s middle class) was banned...
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